Saturday, March 24, 2012

Living beside a massive solar project

Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant near Sarnia, Ontario, is as of September 2010 the world's largest photovoltaic plant with an installed capacity of 80 MW. The plant covers 950 acres (380 ha) and contains about 966,000 square metres (96.6 ha), which is about 1.3 million thin film panels.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Maude Barlow talks mega-quarry March 7

Community concerns about the implications of the proposed Alliston-Melancthon mega-quarry are growing. Now, environmental activist Maude Barlow brings her take on the project to the Georgian College Theatre, Barrie Campus, on March 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, has campaigned for years to raise awareness of threats to Canada’s drinking water resources, among other issues. The Council of Canadians is among the key players in the drive to oppose the Highland Companies plans for a huge open-pit mine on 2,316 acres of prime farmland it has assembled in Melancthon Township near Shelburne.

The mega-quarry proposal is raising objections for many reasons. The six-billion tonne quarry would be the second largest in North America, reaching deep below the water table. At 200 feet, the quarry would be deeper than the height of Niagara Falls, and would displace 600 million litres of fresh water per day. Depending on demand, up to 300 trucks per hour could haul gravel south to fuel the Greater Toronto area’s demand for gravel. Blasting would continue daily. The pit would also destroy Class One agricultural land that is a prime location for specialised potato production.

Highland says the project would create local jobs and benefit the Ontario economy. The firm, backed by Canadian and US investors, says it would eventually restore the land to agricultural use, 300 acres at a time. The proposal has now been referred for a full-scale Environmental Assessment by the Ontario government.

Barlow’s talk is the next instalment in the annual speakers’ series, sponsored by the University Partnership Centre. Barlow most recently appeared at Georgian in 2006, when she spoke about the fate of Canada’s freshwater resources. Tickets for the event are $12 for the public and $6 for students. They can be purchased at the Georgian College bookstore, in person on online at, at Page and Turners bookstore at 123 Dunlop St. E., Barrie, or at the door.
For more information contact Tim Green, professor, Georgian College, at or 705-728-1968, ext. 5718.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

AWARE Public Meeting, January 21

Sprawl: the Monster that’s Consuming Simcoe County
AWARE Simcoe public meeting in Angus - all are invited

Panellists: Claire Malcolmson of Environmental Defence, John Stillich of the Sustainable Urban Development Association and David Strachan of the Midhurst Ratepayers Association will discuss the development pressures facing Simcoe County.

WHEN: Saturday, January 21, 2012 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Community Centre, 8527 County Road 10, Angus ON

This is an urgent issue for Simcoe County residents. By 2031 the population of Simcoe County, Orillia and Barrie is to have grown by about 250,000 people. This will impact our air and water quality, our health, our lifestyles and our tax bills.
How can our municipal councils meet the challenge of building healthy communities within ecological limitations?
Our panellists will present their perspective and we want to hear from you – what are your concerns and ideas?
Refreshments and Home Baked Goodies Provided. All welcome! Bring a friend.

From the East or the South: From Hwy 400, exit at Hwy 90. Go west to Angus. Continue along Mill Street to County Road 10. Turn left. Park in Nottawasaga Pines parking lot.
From the North: Take County Rd. 10 south to Angus. Turn right along Mill Street to where it rejoins County Rd. 10. Turn left. Park in Nottawasaga Pines parking lot.
From the West: Take Hwy 89 to County Road 10. Turn left and go to Nottawasaga Pines parking lot.
Email: Telephone: 705-435-5167 (John)